Home & Garden Garden 21 Amazing Climbing Plants By Stacy Tornio Stacy Tornio Writer University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee University of Oklahoma Stacy Tornio has authored more than 15 books about nature and gardening. She is a master gardener and master naturalist. Learn about our editorial process Updated August 4, 2021 Olesia Kononenko / Getty Images Share Twitter Pinterest Email Home & Garden Planting Guides Indoor Gardening Urban Farms Insects Climbing plants can seem a bit magical—they start out small and unsuspecting, but as they start to grow, they take on new life and heights. Also called trailing plants or flowering vines, climbing plants help you make the most out of your garden space, no matter how big or small it is. You can grow them up, down, and sideways. Some of these plants might do best growing up a trellis or arbor for support while others are fine growing along a fence, patio, or from a hanging basket. Here are 21 of the best climbing plants to consider adding to your garden. Warning Some of the plants on this list are toxic to pets. For more information about the safety of specific plants, consult the ASPCA's searchable database. 1 of 21 Cypress Vine (Ipomoea quamoclit) xia yuan / Getty Images Also called the cardinal climber, the cypress vine can reach up to 15 feet tall and 6 feet wide. It has ties to the tropics and is particularly popular with hummingbirds and butterflies because of its tiny red flowers. Start this climber from seed to get the most bang for your buck. It tolerates a lot of conditions and is easy to grow. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun Water: Medium Soil: Well-drainedZones: Annual for most or Zones 11-12 2 of 21 Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) Westend61 / Getty Images Cover a large space with this vine that can reach up to 50 feet tall and 10 feet wide. It’s common to see the Virginia creeper, with its thick foliage that turns deep red in the fall, grow vertically up fences, houses, or buildings. This vine can grow quickly and be difficult to remove, so make sure you have proper space and support for this one. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun to part shade Water: Medium Soil: Well-drained Zones: 3-9 3 of 21 Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea batatas) lzf / Getty Images Sweet potato vine is a popular annual often found in container arrangements or hanging baskets. It is typically a lime green shade, and it’s easy to start new plants from cuttings. Just one of these plants can go a long way (think about 10 feet long) in a patio container or deck planter. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun Water: Medium Soil: Well-drained Zones: Annual for most or Zones 9-11 4 of 21 Black-Eyed Susan Vine (Thunbergia alata) Rudolf Vlcek / Getty Images Similar to black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta), black-eyed Susan vines often have bright yellow or orange blooms with dark centers. This is a tropical flower native to Africa that can grow from 3 to 8 feet tall in a single season, making it perfect for a small trellis. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun to part shadeWater: Medium Soil: Rich, well-drainedZones: Annual or Zones 10-11 5 of 21 Dutchman’s Pipe (Aristolochia tomentosa) SHAWSHANK61 / Getty Images A funky-looking deciduous vine, the Dutchman's pipe can take both sun and shade and can reach up to 30 feet high and 10 feet wide. It mixes well with other perennials and is a good plant to attract butterflies. When checking your garden center for this vine, you might also want to look for another variety of the Dutchman's pipe, Aristolochia macrophylla. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun to part shadeWater: Medium Soil: Well-drainedZones: 5-8 6 of 21 Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) Paul Daniel Stanley Clermont / EyeEm / Getty Images Passionflowers are beautiful white and purple blooms that will look like you got them from a tropical destination. These flowers, which bloom in the summer and smell delightful, produce egg-shaped fruits called maypops, which can be eaten right off the vine or made into jelly. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun to part shade Water: Medium Soil: Well-drained Zones: 5-9 7 of 21 Clematis (Clematis) Jacky Parker Photography / Getty Images It’s very common to see a variety of clematis climbing up a trellis or arbor in the garden. The blooms are beautiful and make a powerful impact in a small space. With so many clematis cultivars out there, featuring all different colors and traits, it is important to carefully read the plant label and choose one that appeals to you. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun to part shade Water: Medium Soil: Well-drained Zones: 4-8 8 of 21 Sweet Pea Vine (Lathyrus odoratus) magicflute002 / Getty Images This easy-growing annual has beautiful little flowers that are fragrant and attractive to bees and butterflies. If left without climbing support, it will grow in a clump; otherwise, it can reach up to 8 feet. Sweet pea vine is tolerant of a variety of conditions and is good for both beginner and experienced gardeners. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun Water: WaterSoil: Rich, well-drained Zones: Annual 9 of 21 Firecracker Vine (Ipomoea lobata) Ed Reschke / Getty Images Firecracker vines feature a variety of, well, fiery colors, from red to pale yellow. This perennial vine is also called the Spanish flag to some gardeners and will grow up to 16 feet. It is highly attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun Water: Medium Soil: Rich, well-drained Zones: Annual or Zones 10-11 10 of 21 American Wisteria (Wisteria frutescens) Natalia Ganelin / Getty Images Don’t be surprised if you grow wisteria and it doesn’t bloom in the first year — patience is key with this twining, woody vine because it might take a few years to get established. When wisteria does boom, you'll have gorgeous and fragrant purple blooms that reach up to 30 feet tall. It can get quite heavy, so sufficient support is needed. Gardeners should also plan on pruning regularly for optimal blooms. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun Water: Medium Soil: Moist, well-drained Zones: 5-9 11 of 21 Mandevilla (Mandevilla × amabilis) Photos from Japan, Asia and othe of the world / Getty Images This is another popular vine that is often found in pots at garden centers. Consider keeping it in the pot all season and then bringing it indoors during colder months. Mandevillas have beautiful deep-pink flowers with yellow throats, and they tolerate shade well, making them a great option for patios, decks, and porches. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun to part shade Water: Medium Soil: Moist, well-drained Zones: Annual or Zones 10-11 12 of 21 Carolina Jasmine (Gelsemium sempervirens) jared lloyd / Getty Images Carolina jasmine is considered a bit tender to cooler climates, but in the right zone, this evergreen twining vine will reward you with beautiful, fragrant yellow flowers in spring. It grows up to 20 feet tall and will grow in a mound if it doesn’t have support. Its native range includes Southern United States, Mexico, and Guatemala. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun Water: Medium Soil: Moist, well-drainedZones: 7-10 13 of 21 Morning Glory (Ipomoea purpurea) Keith Getter / Getty Images Morning glory is a classic climber that has been gracing gardens with beautiful blue-purple blooms for years. It can reach up to 10 feet, is relatively easy to grow from seed, and can attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Morning glory can be considered aggressive or invasive in some areas, which is something to check with your local garden center before planting. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun Water: Medium Soil: Moist, well-drained Zones: 2-11 14 of 21 Common Hop (Humulus lupulus) Westend61 / Getty Images For some, home brewing starts in the backyard! Common hop is grown commercially and used by breweries to preserve and flavor beer. This perennial vine fills a space well, growing up to 20 feet tall and 6 feet wide. Common hop is considered dioecious, which means you need both a male and female plant to produce seed to harvest. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun to part shadeWater: Medium Soil: Well-drainedZones: 4-8 15 of 21 Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala) Catherine McQueen / Getty Images Climbing hydrangea is another plant that can be hard to establish, but once you get it going, it really goes. It can reach heights up to 50 feet with showy white blooms that are good for cuttings, hummingbirds, and butterflies. Give it a strong support system so it can climb high, and keep it mind that it doesn't do great in really hot climates. Plant Care Tips Light: Part sun to shade Water: Medium Soil: Well-drained Zones: 4-8 16 of 21 Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) MASAHIRO NAKANO/amanaimagesRF / Getty Images Popular with hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees, this fining flower produces beautiful scarlet flowers with a tube shape. Once it is established, it is bound to flower year after year. Honeysuckle is often invasive in some areas, so make sure you have plenty of space for it to grow and expand. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun Water: Medium Soil: Well-drained Zones: 4-9 17 of 21 Hyacinth Bean (Lablab purpureus) Gregory Adams / Getty Images Hyacinth bean can reach up to 20 feet tall and 6 feet wide in a single season. Be sure to give it good support. Peak bloom time produces pink-purple-white blooms that are especially attractive to hummingbirds. It can work well in shade if you wanted to try it out on a porch or patio. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun to part shadeWater: Medium Soil: Well-drained Zones: Annual or Zones 10-11 18 of 21 Climbing Roses (Rosa) Yulia Shaihudinova / Getty Images The rose section of garden centers will probably introduce far more roses than you knew were available. The climbing rose, in particular, is both elegant and ideal for growing along a fence, trellis, or arbor. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun to part shade Water: Medium Soil: Well-drained, slightly acidic Zones: 5-9 19 of 21 Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) Westend61 / Getty Images With winter jasmine, the flowers come before the leaves. It will sometimes bloom beautiful yellow blooms in very early spring or even the end of winter. You can grow it on the ground as a cover or along a trellis, and it will reach heights of up to 15 feet. 20 of 21 Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) Frans Sellies / Getty Images Boston ivy is another potentially tall plant, climbing up to 50 feet high. This woody vine is popular for adding year-round visual interest to a big empty space. Although it is generally easy to grow, Boston ivy requires a strong, supportive structure in order to thrive. It is easily propagated by cuttings, as well. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sun to part shade Water: Dry to medium Soil: Moist, well-drainedZones: 4-8 21 of 21 Moonflower (Ipomoea alba) Orietta Corradi / EyeEm / Getty Images Native to tropical parts of America, moonflower is a perennial vine that requires a solid support structure to grow. It is easy to grow from seed and should be started about six to eight weeks before the last spring frost date. Moonflower can grow to 70 feet or more in trophical climates but, more commonly, reaches 10 to 15 feet in a single season as an annual. Plant Care Tips Light: Full sunWater: Medium Soil: Moist, well-drainedZones: 10-12 View Article Sources "Ipomoea Quamoclit." Missouri Botanical Garden. "Parthenocissus quinquefolia" Missouri Botanical Garden. "Ipomoea batatas." Missouri Botanical Garden "Thunbergia alata." Missouri Botanical Garden. "Aristolochia tomentosa." Missouri Botanical Garden. "Aristolochia macrophylla." Missouri botanical Garden. "Passiflora incarnata." Missouri Botanical Garden. "Lathyrus odoratus." Missouri Botanical Garden. "Ipomoea lobata." Missouri botanical Garden. "Wisteria frutescens." Missouri Botanical Garden. "Gelsemium sempervirens." Missouri Botanical Garden. "Ipomoea purpurea." Missouri Botanical Garden. "Humulus lupulus." Missouri Botanical Gardens. "Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris." Missouri Botanical Garden. "Lablab purpureus." Missouri Botanical Garden. "Jasminum nudiflorum." Missouri Botanical Garden. "Parthenocissus tricuspidata." Missouri Botanical Garden. "Ipomoea alba." Missouri Botanical Garden.